October 11, 2011 archive

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OWS: Grayson Schools a Conservative on the Economy

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Former Congressman and now congressional candidate from his old Florida district, Alan Grayson was a guest on Bill Maher’s Real Time on HBO along with former humorist PJ O’Rourke. When the subject turned to Occupy Wall Street Grayson gave O’Rourke a priceless lesson in basic economics.

Thanks to Crooks & Liars for both the video and the transcript.

O’Rourke: Get your shoes off, get a bongo drum, forget where to go to the bathroom and it’s yours.

Grayson: If I am the spokesman for all the people who think we should not have twenty four million people in this country who can’t find a full time job. That we should not have fifty million people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick. That we shouldn’t have forty seven million people of this country who need government help to feed themselves. And we shouldn’t have fifteen million families who owe more on their mortgage than the value of home, OK, I’ll be that spokesman..

What Yves Smith said

One of the intriguing things about the commentary by the media and political operatives on OccupyWallStreet is how often they try to denigrate it, usually via ridicule and attacks on the appearance or presumed demographics of the participants. The underlying message is that the protestors are slovenly unproductive losers and hence have nothing in common with respectable middle class people. That flies in the face of the evidence on the ground, where the crowd in Zuccotti Park has gotten to be both older and more mixed ethnically than it was at its inception, and many of the Occupy demonstrations in other cities have solid representation of the middle aged and retirees.

Alan Grayson spooke with Rachel Maddow about the litany of economic grievances that are behind the Occupy Wall Street movement sweeping across America.

If you watch the video at Maddow’s site there is a transcript

Occupy Wall Street Tuesday 10.11.11

Occupy Wall St. Livestream: Day 25

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com


The resistance continues at Liberty Square, with free pizza 😉

How magnanimous of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to “allow the Wall Street protesters to stay indefinitely. Making the statement at the Columbus Day parade, Bloomberg also proclaimed that:

“This is the place where you can protest,” Bloomberg said last week, calling New York the “most tolerant, open city in the world.”

Is that so. Mike? How about your out of control police white shirts that indiscriminately pepper spray lawful protesters and lead them on to the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge only to set them up for arrest? Are you going to pay back the tax payers of NYC for the cost of defending the lawsuits that will generate? Not to mention the pay out when the city is found libel for police brutality and entrapment.

As for “letting the protesters stay”, reality is that the mayor has no power to make them leave. The Zucotti park is what is known as a privately owned public space and there are over five hundred such spaces in NYC, including Tompkins Square Park, that are part of a program to encourage private developers to provide indoor and outdoor public spaces. Under the agreement these spaces are open to the public 24/7 and neither the police or the owners have the right or remove anyone so long as they abide by the law and the reasonable rules established by the private owners.

Tough, ain’t it, Mike, you aren’t a dictator.

“I don’t know how to fix this but I know it’s wrong.” ~ Unknown Author

Occupy Wall Street: Ben & Jerry’s flavour of the month

The ice cream brand has issued a statement supporting the Wall Street protests. So what flavour should that solidarity come in?

The board of directors of well-known ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s has issued a statement, “We stand with you”, in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement:

   “As a board and as a company we have actively been involved with these issues for years but your efforts have put them out front in a way we have not been able to do. We have provided support to citizens’ efforts to rein in corporate money in politics, we pay a livable wage to our employees, we directly support family farms and we are working to source fairly traded ingredients for all our products. But we realize that Occupy Wall Street is calling for systemic change. We support this call to action and are honored to join you in this call to take back our nation and democracy.”

Naomi Klein on why Occupy Wall Street is different.

Occupy Wall Street… mansions

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Occupy Wall Street is on the move … uptown.

Why uptown? Because that’s where the rich folks live!

Organizers are planning a march on Tuesday that will visit the homes of JP Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) CEO Jamie Dimon, billionaire David Koch, hedge fund honcho John Paulson, Howard Milstein, and News Corp (NWSA, Fortune 500) CEO Rupert Murdoch.

The millionaires and billionaires are being targeted for what event organizers called a “willingness to hoard wealth at the expense of the 99%.”

On This Day In History October 11

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

October 11 is the 284th day of the year (285th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 81 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1982, The Mary Rose, a Tudor carrack which sank on July 19 1545, is salvaged from the sea bed of the Solent, off Portsmouth.

The Mary Rose was a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. After serving for 33 years in several wars against France, Scotland, and Brittany and after being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she saw her last action on 19 July 1545. While leading the attack on the galleys of a French invasion fleet, she sank in the Solent, the straits north of the Isle of Wight. The wreck of the Mary Rose was rediscovered in 1971 and salvaged in 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology. The surviving section of the ship and thousands of recovered artefacts are of immeasurable value as a Tudor-era time capsule.

The excavation and salvage of the Mary Rose was a milestone in the field of maritime archaeology, comparable in complexity and cost only to the raising of the Swedish 17th-century warship Vasa in 1961. The finds include weapons, sailing equipment, naval supplies and a wide array of objects used by the crew. Many of the artefacts are unique to the Mary Rose and have provided insights into topics ranging from naval warfare to the history of musical instruments. Since the mid-1980s, while undergoing conservation, the remains of the hull have been on display at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. An extensive collection of well-preserved artefacts is on display at the nearby Mary Rose Museum.

The Mary Rose had no known career as a merchant vessel. She was one of the largest ships in the English navy throughout more than three decades of intermittent war and was one of the earliest examples of a purpose-built sailing warship. She was armed with new types of heavy guns that could fire through the recently invented gun-ports. After being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she was also one of the earliest ships that could fire a broadside, although the line of battle tactics that employed it had not yet been developed. Several theories have sought to explain the demise of the Mary Rose, based on historical records, knowledge of 16th-century shipbuilding and modern experiments. However, the precise cause of her sinking is still unclear, because of conflicting testimonies and a lack of conclusive physical evidence.

The Road to Hell

…..is paved with merger signs.


I’ve often said the rich are now eating their own, another sign of the apocalypse. Its a culling of the herd, a winnowing, an attempt to gamble down to the big prize of who gets it all.

I’ve thrown hundreds of thousands of words at the subject, in print and on the air. For many, many years.

But I think the one proverbial picture is better than them all.

Put your heads under your desks baby, and kiss your asses goodbye. This is not a test.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.

–Henry David Thoreau


$7.3 trillion in debt downgraded in past 10 days.

I keep telling you guys, what I know about economics you could write on the back of an envelope and still have room for a tediously long and grievous lamentation for an old buddy.  Even so, as I divine the sweet breads, the numbers seem impossibly large.  The yew that nets my dreamless head is this table showing debt ratings’ downgrades in the past 10 days:


Of course, “downgraded” doesn’t mean “worthless.”  Who knows?  It could be worth 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, or 0%.  Who really knows? But $7.3 trillion is a metric assload of debt to be downgraded in 10 days during a “recovery,” which WTF are they talking about anyway?  U6 unemployment is at 22%.  These data are from Martin Weiss, who has more to say, but the short version is “dominoes all the way down.”   Soon.

Late Night Karaoke


The Mouse That Jack Built